Here at US Data Corporation, we are big fans of targeted marketing; it’s the only practical way to plan a marketing campaign, especially in today’s economy. No business can afford to target everyone, and let’s be honest: The less you target, the less relevant your marketing becomes to the people who see it. This is why we strongly recommend that every business spend some time defining their target market before embarking on a marketing campaign: It will both save you money, and render your marketing more effective. However, many businesses shy away from targeted marketing, because they don’t want to “exclude anyone”. While this mindset may seem to make sense on the surface, it can actually hold your marketing efforts back in a substantial way. Here’s why.

Targeted marketing is, by definition, exclusionary, and that’s a good thing. Many businesses struggle with defining their target market because they don’t want to exclude anyone, out of the fear that they will lose potential customers. Now, in a sense, this is true, but let’s be clear on who we’re talking about here: The outliers. We’re not talking about losing your core consumers; we’re talking about those random people who you didn’t really expect to purchase from you but who, for one reason or another, ended up having a need for your product anyway. Ask yourself this: Are these lost potential customers, these outliers, really bringing in the bulk of your revenue? Chances are, these outliers are probably not your best customers. They’re unpredictable. Spending money on them is a gamble, because they are inconsistent, at least as their purchases relate to your industry and/or product. That doesn’t mean marketing to them might not bring in some money, but your marketing materials will be watered down, and your ROI will be low.

Targeted marketing, on the other hand, can take that same budget and produce much higher returns. By focusing exclusively on your target market, you can make your marketing more relevant to that group, rather than pushing a watered-down, one-size-fits-all offer. This will inherently be more effective as a marketing strategy. Once you identify your target market, you can ensure that your brand appeals to the people with similar characteristics to your core demographic(s). Although you might be missing out on those random outliers, you will be gaining more customers within your target market, who consistently purchase more from you. Losing a few less-valuable customers in order to gain more of your best customers is a price well worth paying. You simply can’t do that without excluding people.

What’s more, using targeted marketing to cater to niche markets can actually be much more effective than targeting broader groups. Usually, those extremely broad markets are dominated by big brand names, and trying to compete with the big names oftentimes just doesn’t make sense, especially for small businesses. However, by targeting niche markets, you can often find smaller groups that the big names have overlooked or neglected, meaning that you have less competition for their attention.

When it comes to marketing, don’t be that overly nice person who invites everyone to their party. Exclude people. Get used to it. Your bank account will thank you.

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